As Lapland’s capital and the gateway to the Arctic, Rovaniemi offers the perfect mix of city sights and authentic wilderness experiences.
In Northern Finland, the capital of Lapland is a bustling city holding the largest population near the Arctic Circle.
Rovaniemi has a modern feel to it but still holds a strong connection to nature – not surprising when you have the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights in the skies above!
Whilst the city is of interest, it is the wilderness surrounding Rovaniemi which is the draw for us as it offers some exceptional Northern Lights viewing opportunities. Both the Apukka Aurora Borealis Resort and the Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge are just a short drive away from the airport and sit in dark skies providing prime Aurora territory. From snowmobiles to Snowtrains, our Northern Lights holidays are packed full of innovative ways for you to have the best chance of seeing the display. What’s more, our local experts are on hand to take you to the best locations as well as explain the science behind the spectacular show, and help you with your camera settings to capture the moment for yourself.
If nature’s famous light show wasn’t enough to entice you here then perhaps Rovaniemi’s best-known resident will. Head just 8km north of the city and you’ll enter Santa Claus Village and get to meet the man himself.
Inspired by our own travel experiences here and working alongside local guides, we’ve created a range of Aurora hunting holidays in this special part of the world.
A Winter Delight
Rovaniemi is a gateway to the enigmatic Arctic and there are plenty of opportunities for you to cross the Arctic Circle line around the city.
Most will agree that snow gives everything a dusting of enchantment and as Rovaniemi enjoys a covering for around 6 months of the year, you can imagine what a winter wonderland this city truly becomes and why it’s the official hometown of Santa Claus.
From Ice Cabins to ice bars, the people here certainly know how to make the most of the materials around them. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of places to keep warm!
Many know Rovaniemi as a great viewing area for the Northern Lights but our local experts will tell you that the darker the skies the better so you need to be out of the city. The Apukka Resort and the Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge are both just a short distance away but take you further into the Arctic and away from light pollution. We’ve created holidays specifically designed to give you the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Let our local experts guide you through darker skies via Snowtrain, snowmobiling, husky sledding and even reindeer safaris.
A Stylish Arctic Getaway
When we first visited the Apukka Resort we couldn’t believe how stylish an Arctic getaway could be. Nestled away from the city lights, you can spend your nights in one of the Holiday Homes or Apartments at the resort so you can create a home away from home.
To really get into the spirit of the location, you can spend a night in an Ice Cabin. Though it may not sound like it, you’ll be kept warm with plenty of thermal bedding, and the silence and fresh air from these incredible structures make for an unforgettable night.
Guests can also choose to upgrade to one of the resort’s Aurora Cabins where you can gaze up at the sky through the panoramic glass roof.
For a Finnish log cabin experience, the Arctic Circle Wilderness Lodge is only a 20-minute car ride from downtown Rovaniemi with beautiful surroundings – frozen rivers, forests and a silence only nature can offer. Choose from Panorama Huts for your exclusive look into the night sky or go for a more traditional Finnish lumberjack-style lodging.
Both resorts offer traditional Lappish dining experiences with enough moderns twists for a satisfying meal before you head out into the night for your Northern Lights adventure.
Image credit: Apukka Resort, Visit Rovaniemi Tourism & Marketing Ltd, Marko Junttila Vastavalo, Juho Kuva & Visit Finland